• 81°

Andrew Landry shoots 65, shares first place at Safeway Open

On a day when former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo turned a lot of heads with his impressive play in the PGA Tour Safeway Open, it was Southeast Texan Andrew Landry who made the biggest statement.

Coming off back-to-back weeks of missing the cut, Landry fashioned a 7-under-par 65 on the Silverado Resort North Course to share the first-round lead with Adam Scott. The Port Neches-Groves ex narrowly missed a 20-footer on the final hole for a 64 and the outright lead, but he had walked away overjoyed with his play.

Landry said the big difference was his putting, a feeling backed up by the fact he finished the day No. 1 in the strokes gained putting stat.

“I went home after missing the cut last week and really worked on my putting,” he said. “I felt a lot more relaxed over the ball today. My lower body is not moving as much. I had been so rigid in my posture. I needed to stay down on putts and hit the ball solid. It is working out so far.”

The Port Neches-Groves ex had seven birdies and did not make a bogey. In addition to being No. 1 in strokes gained putting, he was No. 1 in strokes gained approach, strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained total and did it while playing in the tougher late afternoon conditions.

Landry did most of his damage on the back nine, which he played first. He had birdies at 12, 14, 15, 17 and 18 to make the turn in 31. On the incoming nine, his birdies came at 6 and 8. Overall he made 76 feet of birdies.

His round saver, however, was a 14-foot par putt on his 11th hole.

Romo, meanwhile, trying to make a cut on the PGA Tour for the first time in four tries, shot a solid 70 and was tied for 28th. If he can do it again Friday, CBS will have to find its lead football announcer, Jim Nantz, a substitute color man for Sunday’s Bears-Vikings game.

“I played really well,” said Romo, “but I left shots out there. I could have gone lower.”

The news was not so good for Chris Stroud, who was making his first start of the new season. Stroud, who has been limited with back issues, shot 76. He made only one birdie and doomed his round with a double bogey on his 17th hole.

Bailey stays seventh in qualifier
Braden Bailey continued to be a par-breaking machine Thursday in the third round of the Korn Ferry Tour Stage 1 qualifier on the Gary Player Course at The Woodlands.

Bailey followed up rounds of 68 and 70 with a three-under-par 69 for a 54-hole total of 207 to hold on to seventh place. It marked the 14th time in his last 15 professional rounds that the PNG ex has shot 70 or better. Ten of those rounds have been in the 60s.

To advance to the Stage 2 qualifer next month, Bailey will need to be in the top 23 after Friday’s final round at The Woodlands. He’s currently six shots clear of players who are tied for 23rd.

Bailey’s bogey free third round included birdies on the second, 10th and 15th holes. He’s three shots behind leader Grant Schroeder of Montgomery. Two players at tied at 11 and three more, including Lamar ex MJ Daffue, are 10 under.